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Author Topic: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household  (Read 19176 times)

John Canfield

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mickey53usa had a great suggestion - why not start a survey thread patterned along the lines of our popular Survey of CRT to LCD TV replacement topic.  So here we go!

I'll start with my conversion of a few years ago of our Nocold (misspelling intentional) 1200LR four door with a 17' Frigidaire purchased from Lowe's.  I'm not going pull all of my pictures from my website write-up and duplicate them here so please go here if you are interested in details from my conversion.  Our only regret about the conversion is that we didn't do it years sooner.

So, lets see your conversion (pictures, we want lots of pictures!)
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 07:37:22 AM by John Canfield »
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kdbgoat

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Re: Survey of refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2016, 07:06:45 AM »
Would it be more popular if you put it in the "Remodeling" section instead of the "Winnebago-specific issues" section?
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John Canfield

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Re: Survey of refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2016, 07:28:31 AM »
Possibly but we have precedence with the TV conversions sticky here and it is indeed Winnebago-specific, so here it remains.
--John
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Survey of refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2016, 07:33:42 AM »
Quote
it is indeed Winnebago-specific, so here it remains.

So no non-Winnebago conversions should be contributed here?
Gary
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John Canfield

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Re: Survey of refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2016, 07:37:03 AM »
So no non-Winnebago conversions should be contributed here?
Those belong in the Remodeling board.
--John
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judway

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2016, 07:58:34 AM »
I installed a 10 cu ft Whirlpool and a 1 kW inverter to power it. Works great.
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afchap

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2016, 09:07:09 AM »
I replaced our Norcold 1201 with an 18.2 cf Frigidaire in 2014. There is a complete write-up on my site at http://www.pjrider.com/ReferReplace.htm including a pic of charred wood and melted Styrofoam in the ceiling. It's a wonder our coach wasn't destroyed by fire years ago!!
Paul ... (KE5LXU), was fulltimin', now parttimin'...
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BigJohn

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2016, 11:41:02 AM »
Had our Norcold 1200 replaced with a Samsung RF18. A few days ago. Did not add a new inverter. Chose Samsung because it's warrantied in MH and will operate on MSW inverter. Very low power usage, max dc amps 1.1. Quiet!  Deeper than Norcold so protrudes from original cabinet about three inches. So far DW happy.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 12:33:36 PM by BigJohn »
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John Canfield

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2016, 11:47:55 AM »
Samsung is an extremely popular brand for conversions.  We have had a PSW inverter almost since the coach was new so no worries about our Frigidaire compressor running on inverter.  So far so good, DW and myself are happy campers.
--John
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mickey53usa

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2016, 12:03:19 PM »
Thanks John for starting this - I have looked at the specifications on the Samsung RF18 and it looks like I will need to enlarge my opening vertically about 5 or 6 inches. Will be looking at other brands - specifically "counter depth" or about 24" deep without the doors. Plan to put a PSW Inverter in specifically for the refrigerator - probably 1000 watt.  Gary RV Roamer is playing with an Inverter that I might try.  Getting the floors redone this year - next year the refrigerator.
Michael & Debbie
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mickey53usa

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2016, 12:05:24 PM »
2009 Winnebago Destination 37G
Since I am the one that suggested to John that this refrigerator conversion thread be started, I guess I will start with my conversion project. This is going to start with the planning stage (which where I am now) and move into the purchase of parts, including the refrigerator and the modification of the opening.
Our motor home came with the 1201LM Norcold refrigerator. I have had the “recall” done three times as each time the “recall” box failed. The refrigerator is not big enough, especially since my wife cooks a lot when we travel with friends. It has never kept the refrigerator part as cold as the unit in the stick & brick. The freezer works wonderfully, but the refrigerator part was never at our expectation. We live and spend most of our time travelling in Texas. The exterior of the motor home is primarily black. Texas and black means a lot of heat.
The other issue, which a new refrigerator will not resolve, but does figure into the replacement refrigerator specification is height. We have seven (7) foot ceilings and the refrigerator is currently mounted to within three (3) inches of the ceiling. Getting into the freezer and looking into the bottom of it is on tiptoes or by stool. Under the current refrigerator is a single drawer that is currently filled with cooking utensils.  We don’t want to lose this drawer, but it might either come to that or at the least make in shorter in depth. So, a bottom freezer unit or a side by side is probably where we are headed for the replacement unit.
Another issue is the location of the refrigerator. To the right of the refrigerator is a wall and on the other side is the shower. No room to move to the right. To the left is the kitchen counter and cook top with drawers under the cook top. Below the drawers is the home of the furnace. I mention this as I need to find a location for another inverter.
This brings up power. I currently have two 12v Group 31 deep cycle house batteries and a 600 watt MSW Dimensions inverter. My thought is to install a new 1000 watt PSW inverter with an included transfer switch (internal) or add an additional transfer switch. One suggestion by another board member is to put in a DPDT 10A switch to switch the refrigerator between the new inverter and line/generator power. My though is to add a third 12v Group 31 battery (will just fit) to the house battery bank.
That is about as far as I have gotten. I plan to make the conversion next year (new floor in the motor home installed by Ernie Ekberg is this year) so I do have some time to firm up my plans. I will post some pictures of the current install, including the existing cabinets, drawers and what is under and behind both. I will also update this from time to time on any changes that I make, and on the actual install.
So, suggestions or comments, especially from those that have gone before on this project would be helpful. – Stay Tuned - Michael
Michael & Debbie
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mrschwarz

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2016, 08:49:47 PM »
Anyone with a 42AD make the switch?
Michael

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John Canfield

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2016, 06:07:47 AM »
...So, suggestions or comments, especially from those that have gone before on this project would be helpful. – Stay Tuned - Michael
A third battery would be useful.  Is their space to upgrade your current Dimensions to a larger version?  What gauge are the 12V cables going into the inverter/charger?

Put up a few pictures of your current fridge if you can.
--John
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mickey53usa

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2016, 07:41:20 AM »
Current Dimensions Inverter is located next to the transfer switch in the electrical compartment and IIRC, there is enough room to put a larger unit.  I have a separate converter\charger. Both, according to the wiring diagrams, appear to be fed with #3 wire.  Will get photos this weekend. Have included a pdf of the 110v wiring for the passenger side and the passenger side appliance layout to give you a little idea what I am working with. - keep the ideas coming -
Michael & Debbie
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mickey53usa

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2016, 11:55:09 AM »
As I get to looking at the wiring diagrams, existing Inverter is on opposite side of the motor home and it shows a 14ga wire Daisy chaining the five Inverter outlets. Would need to tap directly off the new larger Inverter and bring the new 110v tap direct to the refrigerator. Plus would need to upgrade the DC wiring to the Inverter. Running a separate 12v run of #1 to an additional Inverter installed close to the new refrigerator might be the easier solution. Need to ponder this some more.
Michael & Debbie
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John Canfield

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2016, 06:32:24 AM »
This would be a great time to upgrade to a 2,000 watt PSW inverter/three-stage charger.  My  Xantrex RS2000 easily powers the coach and fridge.
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mickey53usa

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2016, 08:46:30 AM »
Removed the drawer below the refrigerator. The area where the furnace is located is under the cook top counter/cabinets and separated by a wall to the left of the refrigerator. With the drawer removed, there is seven (7) inches from the bottom of the drawer opening to the floor. There is an electrical outlet and the propane sensor located in the area. It might be possible to relocate those two items to the left of the refrigerator area and orient them vertically. This would allow me to drop the height of the drawer and still keep it full height. There are water lines for the kitchen sink going through this area as well as the drain line and vent for the shower. Picture one shows location of the refrigerator - right across from the "One Place." Photos 2,3 & 4 show the front of the refrigerator, the drawer below and the electrical outlet and the propane sensor. Picture 5 looks into the drawer area to the left of center. Photo 6 looks into the drawer are to the right of center. Photos 7 & 8 show the left side of the cabinet and the water lines for the kitchen sink, which also connect to the shower on the right of the refrigerator. Photo 9 is the left side wall of the area and photo 10 is the right side wall of the area. Notice the shower drain pipe.  There is some area along the left edge of the refrigerator that could be trimmed if more width is needed, but I think height will be more of the problem, since what I can measure shows an existing height of 66 inches. Replacements seem to be in the 70 to 72 inch area. My choice would be to take an inch from the top and then take the remainder from the bottom.
Michael & Debbie
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PAHipskind

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2016, 03:26:24 PM »
Had our Norcold 1200 replaced with a Samsung RF18. A few days ago. Did not add a new inverter. Chose Samsung because it's warrantied in MH and will operate on MSW inverter. Very low power usage, max dc amps 1.1. Quiet!  Deeper than Norcold so protrudes from original cabinet about three inches. So far DW happy.

I can't find the specs for this model for sure. Is this the French door style refrigerator? How did you discover a MSW inverter was ok?
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mickey53usa

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2016, 03:36:48 PM »
PAHipskind - Check here for the specifications - it is a french door with bottom freezer - http://www.samsung.com/us/appliances/refrigerators/RF18HFENBSR/AA Cannot answer about the MSW Inverter. I plan to use a PSW Inverter.
Michael & Debbie
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BigJohn

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2016, 10:52:26 PM »
When researching the Samsum refrigerator, I chatted on their website with a representative. I got the info on warranty and MSW from the rep.. I was looking at several brands and did not keep a copy of the chat. I chatted again tonight and was told it will void warranty. Sorry for the misinformation. It appears that it depends on who you ask. Tonight I chatted with Hampi B chat#4306827435.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2016, 09:03:36 AM by BigJohn »
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John Canfield

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2016, 05:45:40 AM »
MSW inverters are fine for inductive or resistive loads, the compressor motor would be considered an inductive load.  MSW power can wreak havoc on some electronics though.  Knowing this in advance when we ordered our Horizon, the first modification was installing a PSW Xantrex.
--John
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bobmacc

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2016, 08:49:49 PM »
I replaced my Norcold 1210 2 years ago in my 2009 Journey 39Z. It is an exact fit from a width perspective but I lost a 6" cupboard that was above the Norcold. Changed my 4 Grp 31 batteries to AGMs from Sams Club. I put in the Samsung RF-197 which is the predecessor to the current RF-18.  The RF-197 / 18 are both counter depth fridges which was mandatory as there is a diagonal wall in front of the fridge opening that limits depth. I found there were really no other french door fridges that would fit when I installed it. The fridge compartment had extensive wiring running through it at the rear. I installed a new floor of 3/4" plywood to protect the wiring and firmly support the fridge.

Getting the fridge in was no problem. I removed the fridge doors and the pasenger seat. I disconnected the door stop so it would open 180 degrees and provide an additional 2"+ in the opening.  Added hardwood trim above and below the fridge. Used 1.5" angle aluminum screwed to hardwood trim and held on the fridge top with heavy duty double sided tape. Fridge can't move so I am comfortable that it is secure. Added steel straps to the rear of the fridge attached to the floor. Hasn't moved in 18,000 miles so is well secured.

Used the original Dimensions 2000 watt MSW inverter with no problems. Also added 400 watts of solar panels to the roof as we boondock a lot  and is more cost effective than adding batteries plus was easy to install. Fridge will run for 24 hrs plus before batteries need recharging by which time solar has kicked in on sunny days. Seldom need to run the generator for the fridge. Maximum current draw is 3.7 amps and the fridge cools down completely in about 4-6 hours. Wife loves it and has a lot more room than the Norcold at 17.6 cu.ft. 
Would never buy a coach without a Res Fridge and highly recommend it. Did all the work myself excluding getting the Norcold out and Sammy in - strong son in law and a friend helped there.
Bob
09 Winn Journey 39Z
Southern Ontario

John Canfield

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2016, 06:25:41 AM »
Good job Bob!  Any pictures?
--John
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Old Grape

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2016, 10:25:36 PM »
Howdy all. I have an 06 Tour 40KD. It has the Dimensions 2000 watt Quasi Sine Wave Inverter/Charger. I plan on having a side by side Whirlpool 22 cu ft refrigerator model #WRS322FDAM installed next week to replace my Norcold 1201. I queried Whirlpool on whether or not the Quasi Sine Inverter will damage the electronics in the fridge. By chance do any of you all have the same inverter in use with a Whirlpool fridge?
Galen & Amy
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with Lexi, Beamer, Polly, Rusty, Sassy, & Cici

John Canfield

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2016, 06:50:57 AM »
Welcome Galen. You would be doing yourself and your electronics a huge favor by upgrading the Dimensions (AKA "Dimented" inverter) to a pure sine wave version.  The Dimensions I believe was a product built to Winnebago's specifications, read that as Winnebago gave them a target price and they engineered it to the price.  It is functional but I would compare it to a Xantrex/Magnum like a Yugo to a Lexus.  I replaced my Dimensions when my coach was about two weeks old and sold it on eBay.
--John
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Old Grape

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2016, 11:55:37 AM »
Thanks for the response. Did your new Inverter Charger connect to your existing inside control panel or did that have to be replaced also?
Galen & Amy
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John Canfield

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2016, 06:34:13 AM »
It was basically a drop-in replacement except for having to run new cable for the new control panel.  Here's a simple write-up when I swapped mine out.  My Xantrex RS2000 inverter/charger is no longer in production; Xantrex was bought out by Magnum and I think Magnum was bought by somebody else so I'm not sure which product would be a no-fuss replacement.
--John
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Old Grape

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2016, 11:51:15 AM »
Thanks! The control panel wiring may be just a bridge too far for me. I have found some Inverter chargers. The jury is still out though. I was thinking about a Tripp-Lite 3000 watt  inverter Charger. Just found out they are a modified sine also. So scratch that idea. :)
« Last Edit: June 24, 2016, 09:39:56 AM by Old Grape »
Galen & Amy
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with Lexi, Beamer, Polly, Rusty, Sassy, & Cici

Old Grape

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2016, 09:47:18 AM »
So I'll ask the $64K question. If I just wait till the Dimensions Inverter dies, what delicate electronics are the ones that the modified sine like the Dimensions Inverter Charger will be harmed? I have changed out two of the three TVs with LCD/LED TVs. I have the Dish receiver, a Panasonic surround sound DVD system, the original Sharp Microwave, and the original CD Changer. An of course the IPADs an IPHONEs get charged with the inverter sometimes. The TVs would run $300 to $500 to replace as well as the surround sound. Whirlpool has no responded to my query about use of the fridge with the inverter. I'll call and ask them. Hopefully they won't blow me off.
Galen & Amy
2006 Tour 40KD
2014 F150 XLT
with Lexi, Beamer, Polly, Rusty, Sassy, & Cici

Old Grape

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Re: Survey of Winnebago refrigerator replacements - gas to household
« Reply #29 on: June 24, 2016, 10:14:32 AM »
Update: Received response from Whirlpool that said follow the manual. So I called them and asked the question on whether the modified sine power source would harm the fridge. The call center rep said it should be ok for short periods of time but would not recommend it for full time use. I doubt he know the difference between modified and pure sine. :)
So I am about where I was with the last post a short while ago on what will the modified sine power source actually harm.
Galen & Amy
2006 Tour 40KD
2014 F150 XLT
with Lexi, Beamer, Polly, Rusty, Sassy, & Cici

 

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